THE WELLNESS 100
This is a way of “rating” how well you are doing at any given time. By learning to monitor ones own level of physical and mental function, it becomes possible to choose which tasks and activities it is safe to attempt at any given time.
The Wellness 100 Rating System is very personalized. Each of us will develop a system that is best suited to our own circumstances and needs. This is just a very brief introduction and we will be discussing “The Wellness 100″ system in much more detail in upcoming blog posts and audio pod casts.
This is how it works:
A score of “100″ means that you are at your absolute best. At “100″ you feel as good as possible physically and emotionally. Your thinking is clear, body responsive, and your mood is excited, happy and peaceful as you personally tend to become. A “0″ would be a complete lack of function. Physically and/or emotionally you are unable to help yourself, take care of others, or perform necessary daily tasks. Most of us are going to spend the majority of our lives somewhere between those two extremes.
In the initial stages of a grief experience, that number is likely to be very low. As time passes how you are doing may change either slowly or quickly depending on life events and ones personality. During the course of a single day, one may have few different scores as the activities of the day unfold. This is actually quite normal.
It is even possible to have one number be how you are actually feeling (your mood) and another for how well you are functioning. An example of this would be if life is going well overall, but you have a flu or cold. In that case, your mood may be a high number, yet it may be hard to concentrate or move around very much, so physically there would be a low number. The opposite situation could be a person who is deeply troubled by a problem in their life (a low number for their mood), but they are managing to do a good job at taking care of themselves and others (a high number for physical function).
Here are a few quick guidelines:
If you notice yourself being easily irritated and upset or are making errors that seem uncommon for you, you may have a score that is under “70”. In this case, it is better to SLOW THE GO and make fewer mistakes.
With a score under “70″ you may want to take extra care in a variety of ways, like read and then re-read important emails a few times before sending them. Perhaps you can ask a friend or co-worker to review your professional materials before trying to use them.
If you are driving, try to stay relaxed and focused without talking on the phone or trying to multi-task. When walking down stairs take your hands out of your pockets in case you need them to balance yourself. Take some extra time to treat yourself to activities that you find rejuvenating. This is a perfect time to sleep well and exercise carefully.
A score of less than “50” may be happening if you are truly in a deep mood that you can not seem to lift. It may be so hard to concentrate that even simple tasks like getting dressed or standing in line at a store seem overwhelming. Perhaps you feel like crying and can not seem to start…or are already crying and finding it difficult to stop.
When a score is that low, a person will likely have slower reflexes, be distracted by intense emotions or a feeling of numbness, and generally become less aware of their body and environment. To drive under these conditions is very dangerous to oneself and also puts other people on the road at risk. It becomes very important to move carefully in order to avoid falls and accidents. Try to reduce your workload and higher stress activities as much as possible until you are feeling better.
When times are very difficult, it is possible to end up with a number lower than “25″. It may be hard to move…or stop moving. One’s breathing can become held or hyperventilated. A persons body temperature could become too hot or too cold. Thoughts may revolve around being destructive towards oneself or others.
At that point consider that you may be at risk mentally and/or physically and should be finding ways to get help. It is best to call or email your main friends and family members and let them know what is happening. If possible also include some professional assistance like a therapist or trusted advisor.
Look at your schedule and postpone as many events as possible so that time can become devoted to your personal care and healing. Ideally your loved ones can be with you in person so they can evaluate for themselves what a situation may call for. If your wellness number is lower than a “25”, no matter what else is happening in your life, your “job” and number one priority should be your own self-care and improvement.
As I mentioned, the idea of rating one’s wellness as it changes and shifts can seem fairly complex. Please see if these initial suggestions can be applied to your own life as a way of taking inventory of how you are doing at a given time. I am glad to address any questions you may have, either in print or our upcoming pod casts. It would be great to hear examples as you experiment with applying the Wellness 100 to your own life.